Parent reviews for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Common Sense says

Disney's take on Christmas classic is colorful but intense.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 46 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 39 reviews
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byLJ568 March 15, 2019

A darker take

I watched with my almost-5 year old because she's loving anything ballet right now and I'm tired of the movie "leap." She's too young. She couldn't follow the plot and asked so many questions. The mouse king was made of thousands of roiling mice that rolled over Clara; the sugarplum fairy turned out to be evil; mother ginger was a creepy doll with a broken face inside a creepy circus tent robot with super creepy clowns. All within a dark and abandoned (and yes, creepy) carnival with scary clown archways and mice that pulled soldiers down holes and rose up under the carasol to collapse it. My daughter was too young for any of this and I worried it would ruin the regular nutcracker for her but we're watching the ballet version now sooo I guess she's fine. Also there wasn't much dancing at all. And Clara kept having to tell everyone her mother just died. It might be an interesting movie for older kids but I would recommend skipping it for younger ones.
Adult Written byET3D November 3, 2018

Good looking but horribly scripted movie has some weird messages

I went to this movie with my 10 year old daughter, who felt it was a bad movie, and "too short" (I assume she meant "underdeveloped", which I felt was the case). To me the movie grated from almost the first instant. The dialogue felt off and acting felt deliberately silly at times. A good cast, a good director and good special effects didn't make up for a frankly stupid script.

I'm not sure what age it's suitable for. Older kids (like my 10 year old) would see this for the shallow work it is, and younger kids might get frightened by the darker images in this movie, like the swarm of mice, the frightening clowns or the chipped face (I have an 8 year old niece who is frightened by unusual faces).

Here's one thing I learned from the movie (spoiler alert): If you're a good person and want to tell something important to another person, having mice kidnap that person, then having your frightening clowns physically assault her to push her into your room is not the best way to make a convincing point. That the movie implies that the kidnapped person should have listened tells the young viewer that if you get kidnapped and assaulted perhaps that person is good and has a valid point.

That's just one of the confusing messages in this movie.
Adult Written bySIBC04 October 31, 2018

Disney's take on the classic Nutcracker story

This was a very cute movie with a relatively simple storyline. It's Disney's take on the classic Nutcracker story - it's very fantasized and CGI-based - think along the lines of the recent Alice in Wonderland films or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While it is visually appealing, the film did tend to drag a bit with slow points and I could see kids, especially on the younger side, getting bored at times (I even got bored at times). I think this movie would be great for kids who appreciate the original Nutcracker ballet (if there are any?) or who very much like Christmas movies. Content-wise, I believe the film is all-in-all suitable for young audiences. Aside from a few creepy elements - such as the giant wind-up mice, bouncing clown-things, and an army of huge toy soldiers - there is a "war" taking place, so we see an army of soldiers fighting with swords but no blood is shown. Clara is dealing with the passing of her mother and that is a central theme of the story. Mackenzie Foy is perfect as the heroine in the role of Clara. It does have a positive message and theme and could be seen as inspirational, especially to young girls.

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Parent of a 5 and 7-year-old Written byDale Dietrich December 14, 2019

My 5 & 7 Year olds enjoyed it.

I don’t understand all the hate for this movie. My 5 and 7 year olds (girl and boy) both enjoyed it. It held their attention with its beautiful graphics. It wasn’t scary by modern standards. I think most young kids would enjoy this at Christmas time.

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Parent of a 8, 10, and 13-year-old Written bynellakie December 1, 2019
Our family really enjoyed this
Adult Written byAshlew987 September 8, 2019

It’s nothing like the original nutcracker

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Parent of a 9 and 11-year-old Written byMrs. C. B. September 2, 2019

very well done

Imaginative and visually appealing. Story line is engaging and as suspenseful as any good movie. Maybe too dramatic for very young kids but older kids should be fine.

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Adult Written byMrLohAPlus August 3, 2019


I haven't heard about the story of The Nutcracker before, so this review is going to be purely about this movie. First of all, this movie is kids-appropriate, however, selected scenes (like climbing rock) may not be suitable for kids since they are dangerous acts.

Overall, Clara shows her determination of knowing the secret that lies within her present from her mom. I believe that this moral value teaches the kids to appreciate what they own because these items can be more valuable than they think. Secondly, this movie explores the nature of how some people will judge someone's behavior (whether they are good or bad) based on their physical appearance. In this case, most of the characters believe that Mother Ginger is the villain in the movie because of her physical appearance and this info has been told by Sugar Plum (who is "pretty"), which turns out that Sugar Plum is the real villain in the movie, not Mother Ginger. This part of the story has challenged our consciousness when we make an assumption towards someone that we don't know well.

In brief, I love this movie and it will be a great movie for the entire family. Parental guidance is advised for the viewing of young audience.

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Adult Written byAnnewithanE June 8, 2019

Expected better

The writing and acting wasn't that good overall.

I didn't appreciate that the Sugar Plum Fairy character came off as suggestive at times in her demeanor. I get that she was evil, but really.
Gone is the innocence kids movies used to have back in the day.
Parent of a 13, 13, 14, and 15-year-old Written byDio fry January 31, 2019
Adult Written byAlban Toulemonde January 20, 2019

This movie is friendly for kids

The mother and kids must watch this

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Adult Written byGreenThumb January 3, 2019

Fine for all kids

Not an adult movie. You will get bored. Young Kids likely will enjoy it. Too bologna and not original at all. Modified story that has little to do with the original.
Adult Written bybfarahar December 19, 2018

Future Disney classic

Spectacular fantasy. Fabulous costumes and scenery with incredible effects and filming. The storyline and acting kept me enchanted throughout. And I'm an over 50 make.
Adult Written bynanny granny December 18, 2018

Happily surprised!

I had read such bad reviews that I was really regretting that I had promised the grandkids we would go see it. But was happily surprised at how well we ALL enjoyed it - both my son who is 26 and my grandchildren - boys and girls. I thought it was good as long as you don't expect it to be a ballet. Maybe wish they could have put more of the great music in the movie and it would have have gotten a 5 star rating. I thought the plot was interesting and surprising.

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Adult Written bySalient December 8, 2018

Everything You Love About The Nutcracker-Not Included

Picking apart everything wrong with this movie will take too much time, so to save time I’ll put it plainly it is NOT worth your time or money.
Parent of a 4, 5, and 9-year-old Written byDebi W. December 5, 2018

Had high hopes for this movie

I was very excited to go see this with my family. None of us (Kids age 9, 5 and 4) could make it through this movie again. The graphics were great but the movie itself just never grabbed our attention and drew us in. It was lacking something which made it very boring. By the end we were dying to leave the theatre and get out of there. Not a holiday classic in our house.
Parent Written byappsmom November 27, 2018

Fantastic Holiday Movie and Wonderful cameo with Misty Copeland is the best!

This movie is classically Disney (mom :(). However, unlike the Nutcracker the story is set in England and is a combination of Alice in Wonderland , Chronicles of Narnia and Christmas with a little creepiness. Just right for my 12 year old, who loved it. If you are a traditionalist, you probably won't like it. It is not a classic Disney Princess tale. I love that Disney is writing strong women characters in their new films. We loved Maleficent, Moana, and can't wait to see what they do with Aladdin. Lots of soldiers and sword fighting for the boys (no gore, just a little creepy with the animatronics and clowns). Misty Copeland's ballet in the beginning and end almost stole the entire show. Beautiful fantasy landscapes. Overall a great, modern, fun holiday film.

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Adult Written byHdjdndnkd November 27, 2018

Pretty good

The costumes were amazing, as was the set, the ballet was perfect unlike real life ballet.
Everything went to fast throughout the movie, there were no set backs, there was no exploration or fear. The general story was good, but it looks like it was just put together to fast. And Clara's hair was different in some scenes. One second it was messy, then it looked perfectly neat

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Adult Written byEnyaP November 27, 2018

Beautiful mixture on the classic...

For most people they probably wouldn't have read the book of this movie so being fair... I loved the CGI, character creations, and mix of the original story/ballet. However, if you haven't read the book you would be confused, bored, or feel like something was off in some information. While I was watching it I was able to fill in the gaps about the mother's creations and enjoy all the visual and musical senses from the movie. Especially, when it came to the Ballet parts! While there are some scary things that might scare younger kids like Mother Ginger and her giant puppet machine. It does make you feel sorry for the loss of the mother even if its only shown as just that... A loss or sadness... How each person or doll/toy reacts to that is what is shown more in this movie. You will see little Clara change from lost to confident by the end of the movie.

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Adult Written byPasha November 24, 2018